The Dark Knight Rises – A Review by Film Nerd

Director: Christopher Nolan

Cast: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Morgan Freeman

Synopsis: It almost seems ridiculous to write a synopsis for the most anticipated film of the blockbuster season, but here it goes.   The final chapter in Nolan’s Batman trilogy, the film is set eight years after the events of the Dark Knight.   Bruce Wayne became a recluse, and retired his masked alter ego.   Gotham City is in an era of peace, but all that is set to be ruined by Bane, a character ex-communicated from the League of Shadows.   All this, and many subplots, result in Batman being needed once again.

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30 Day Film Challenge Day 23 – Your Favorite Thriller/Mystery Film

Film Nerd’s Choice: Memento

Review:

Director: Christopher Nolan

Cast: Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano, Callum Keith Rennie

Synopsis: Leonard Shelby is a man unable to retain short-term memory ever since the night his wife was murdered, is on the tail of her killer.  His key to solving the mystery is tattoos on his body and photographs he has made notes on to recall what clues he has already discovered.  The story is told in reverse, such that the audience is also unaware of the events preceding the scene currently in play.

 

For a film that opens with a man killing the murderer of his wife, and then proceeds to show how he discovered who the murderer was, it is amazing that the film can remain as consistently gripping as this one is.   It has been a long time since I last saw, yet the impact I had felt watching it remains years after that first and only viewing.   Pearce is amazing as Leonard Shelby, a man obsessed with hunting down the murderer of his wife, said murder being the last true memory he retains.   Subsequent to this, he rarely remembers incidents for more than ten minutes of film time.   Apparently, I have read that as such, this is one of the most accurate portrayals of a memory loss condition ever presented on-screen, a list that also quite pleasantly surprisingly includes Dory from Finding Nemo.

The film does open with a literal bang, as indicated above, with Leonard taking out his vengeance when finally at the end of his quest.   He is an interesting character, tattooed with the more significant clues he has discovered, always checking his photos that remind him who people he has met are, and whether past experiences tell him he can trust them or not.   Some segments open quite kinetically, which in itself keeps the audiences curiosity piqued wondering how these action sequences even started.   It is basically a film that heralds the amazing output of cinema that Nolan has now been recognised for.

It is difficult to say more without delving into the motives of each character, friend and foe.   All I want to say, giving away no spoilers, is treat yourself to this film, and let the mystery unfold… backwards.

5 stars out of 5.

 

Memento on IMDB

Memento on Rotten Tomatoes

Trailer [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vS0E9bBSL0]

Inception – A review by Film Nerd

Director: Christopher Nolan

Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Marion Cotillard, Ken Watanabe, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Michael Caine

Synopsis: The first movie to come onto our screens in a long time where the audience really has no idea what to expect.   Who am I to destroy this opportunity by filling in plot points here???

A review by Film Nerd.

Okay, so it was only a week ago that I complained about the stresses of reduced disposable income, restricting myself to writing reviews for my DVD collection for the near future.   But I am not a self-declared film nerd for nothing.   Hence, the allure of this film was too strong for me to resist.   This is one of those few occasions I actually feel rewarded by a lack of resolve.

Well, a reward in entertainment that becomes a hell to review.   About as much plot as I am willing to give away I can provide from the first 5 or 10 minutes of the two and a half hour running time.   DiCaprio’s character Cobb is an extractor, able to enter the dreams of people and extract information they are trying to keep secret.   That is until he is hired to plant an idea in a target’s mind rather than steal one, which many say can’t be done.

So clearly, we are in the world of the mind, with the only limits to the visual spectacle on-screen being imagination.   So why all the fuss??

The fuss is because we are in the world of the mind, combatting between conscious and subconscious thought.   It is a dream world that eschews the classic hazy edged image and grasps the fact that dreams have their own internal logic, that in terms of the real world makes no sense whatsoever.   Dreams are not linear, your location can change in a blink of an eye and yet all this is unnoticed by the dreamer.   To portray this on-screen successfully requires grasp of the material and a visual style that can pull it off.   This is the great success fo Nolan’s film.

Which could have gone to mud if the cast could not handle it.   DiCaprio has really reinvented himself over the last few years, and his trajectory continues its exponential climb here.   The film hinges on him and his relationship with Marion Cotillard, another absolute class performer who can do no wrong.   Watanabe has always impressed me (see my review for The Last Samurai), and both Page and Gordon-Levitt have both only recently hit star status, but have not put a foot wrong in their comparatively short careers since.   Then of course we have Nolan veterans Murphy and Caine, their standard never to be disputed.   For me though the performance that surprised me was Tom Hardy.   Last time I saw him in a major role, it was as Praetor Shinzon in Star Trek: Nemesis.   I was not a big fan of the film, being a lesser addition to the franchise, and in particular I had issues with the character Hardy played.   I am now tempted to rewatch it though and determine whether the mis-steps observed could have been more faults in direction than in the choices of the actor.

There is little left to say.   Prepare for a mind-blowing, and what at times feels like a mind-altering, experience.   You leave the cinema thinking, or even proclaiming, WTF???   But don’t get me wrong, it is WTF in a good way!!

5 stars (out of a possible 5)

Inception on IMDB

Inception on Rotten Tomatoes

Trailer [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S3XzUYd6nrU]